Pre-Med Academics

4 Ways to Stay Ahead as a Pre-Med Undergrad

From focusing in class to volunteering to the MCAT, being a pre-med undergraduate is a job in and of itself. In a sea of other diverse and impressive pre-meds, some of whom being a little too competitive for comfort, it can be overwhelming to keep up. Luckily, there are a few specific things that you can do to stay ahead while boosting your chances of getting into medical school!

Staying on top of these four tips throughout your pre-med journey will set you up for success — and yes, I speak from experience.

Stay Informed About Pre-Med Related Events and Announcements

You could spend days searching for all of the information there is to know about being a pre-med student, applying to medical school, and beyond. But those are days that you don’t have to waste! So, the best way to stay in the loop is to join pre-health clubs, go to events online or on your campus, follow pre-health mentors on social media, join and read forums online, ask your advisors questions, and more. Walking the same circles as people who carry loads of information is a great way to passively educate yourself. You will gain so much knowledge just by talking with students and leaders in your pre-med community.

Find Mentors on and off-Campus

Building relationships with engaging and supportive mentors is an excellent way to fast-track your success as a pre-med undergrad. A great mentor can make all the difference in your confidence, knowledge, and networking ability on your path to medical school. Keep in mind, your mentors don’t always have to be doctors or medical students, they don’t even have to be older than you. There are many different types of mentors, each serving a unique purpose, so find the ones that work best for you and cherish them.

Focus on Yourself and Your Journey

Comparison is the thief of joy. Rather than learning this the hard way, start fighting those intrusive thoughts early in your journey. Every aspiring physician takes a different path and encounters their own challenges. What you see may just be the highlight reel of their journey. The best thing you can do for yourself is focus on YOU and YOUR journey, alone. You can always celebrate others’ wins and support them through their losses, but do your best not to compare your situations, this is true whether you’re a pre-med undergrad or beyond.

Write Everything Down

Documenting the ups and downs of your journey as you experience them is an extremely helpful tool for crafting your medical school application years in advance. This applies to lots of other application processes as well. I documented one good thing that happened every day throughout my senior year of high school and that basically wrote my college application essays.

No matter where you are in your pre-med undergrad journey, you can start writing down your activities and explaining how they made you feel, the amount of impact you had, and any relevant highlights for each of them. After consistently doing this for a few months, you will not only have a huge amount of information about your experiences, but you will also be able to go back in time and feel all of the same emotions that you felt when those experiences were happening. This can improve your storytelling skills and help you better connect with your interviewers.


Have more questions about getting into med school or becoming a doctor? MedSchoolCoach has a team of admissions advisors who’ve all served on admissions committees. They are available to help coach you and to boost your chances of getting into medical school. Look them up!

Olivia Brumfield

Olivia is a senior at the University of Rochester where she expects to receive a B.S. in neuroscience. She is an aspiring physician with expertise in program management, clinical care, and REDCap with intermediate fluency in American Sign Language. She a Clinical Research Associate at the University of Rochester Center for Health + Technology, as well as the host of the PreMeducation video series.

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